New Delhi: The government has started working towards new policies to support acid attack victims, where the whole of the attacker’s family has to compensate for the attack, union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Monday.
Speaking at the launch of a television show ‘Abke Baras Mohe Bitiya Hi Dijo’, an initiative supported by the ministry, Gandhi said her ministry has taken acid attacks on women seriously.
“We are making a new policy for acid attack victims. The policy shall have the whole family of an attacker paying compensation for the attack, not just the one who threw acid,” the minister said.
In an interaction with Sonali Mukherjee, 30, who has a permanently disfigured face after an acid attack in 2003, Gandhi said a ban on acid has not been possible as acid is used for many purposes in daily life.
Through ‘One Stop Centres’ set up by the ministry, women affected by violence can receive medical, legal and police help, she added.
Gandhi also added that through this show, which will daily telecast inspiring stories of women from across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ will be taken a step ahead.
The programme will be aired on Focus TV starting August 15 this year.
Women who have survived through all odds to stand as the first female police officer of the country, the first physically challenged woman to climb the Mount Everest among others, will be featured in the show.
There is no limit to the imagination of children, especially those below five. But not always what they see or feel may leave a positive image in their minds. And it is to guide not only children but also parents on how to battle such inner fears that Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has once again donned the hat of a writer wth a new book, “There is a Monster Under my Bed”.
“The book gives parents a new way of looking at overcoming a child’s fears so that they can talk to their children. If ignored, it may seemingly appear to go away on the surface but the fear will remain in some form forever. Parents need to act quickly to handle childhood fears,” Gandhi, 62, told IANS.
Maneka Gandhi has written many books on a variety of topics. How did this one come about? Gandhi said her granddaughter Anasuyaa was the inspiration.
“One day she (Anasuyaa) came up to me and said she is afraid that there is a monster under her bed. I had to quickly act positive and responded how lucky she is and I also would like to have one. Its then I realised why the book needs to be written,” Gandhi said.
Parents often tend to ignore the inner fears of children, Gandhi said, adding the book has been to make parents aware about how to deal with such situations.
“A child is a newly-hatched baby they is discovering the world while growing and I think genetically they primed to be afraid of what they don’t understand…
“If we can immediately explain them like in darkness you can see the moon, stars and hear the owls then they can get rid of fear,” she explained.
The 47-page book, illustrated by Snigdha Rao and published by Penguin (Rs 399), deals with common childhood fears like dark rooms, lightening, clowns, injections and even shadows.
“Believe it or not most children fear clowns. And of course, the space under one’s bed which is perhaps the most frightening part. Sometimes, children have difficulty in putting their feet down at night and going to the bathroom because they think something will come out from their bed,” Maneka Gandhi pointed out.
The book is a handy guideline for parents on how they can turn a scary thought or moment of a child into something positive. A bonus is the beautiful, bright and colourfull illustrations that the children can enjoy.
Although, Gandhi hasn’t included child sex abuse in the book, this didn’t stop her from talking about it and accepting it is another form of fear that children often encounter, especially within family.
“I haven’t brought that angle in book because what I wrote in this book is fears of mind that is an actual thing that has to be told to parents. And what we have done in this ministry is that we have made a helpline, childline and email. We respond very quickly to such complaints,” she stated.